1 in 10 people struggles with some level of substance use. With statistics like these, it is evident that the prescription drug addiction in America on the rise. Another statistic is that 25 percent of those who used prescription drugs recreationally, or for non-medical purposes by age 13, will up with addicted at some point in their lifetime. This really goes to show how powerful these drugs can be and how easy it is to fall into the trap of addiction. It is said and believed that around 54 million Americans have used these drugs recreationally and the numbers for users are higher than all the illicit drugs, like heroin and cocaine, combined. Here are 7 signs that you may have a problem with prescription drugs:
1. You Are Taking More Than You Are Prescribed
There have been many incidences where people will get prescribed drugs like powerful painkillers for something like back surgery or a painful injury. It is extremely easy to not even realize you are becoming addicted. If you notice that you are running out of your medication before your get your script filled, or you begin taking more than you are prescribed to get the same effect, it may be time to look into getting help. This is a common scenario for most people that get addicted and many times doctors will not address risks before writing scripts for these powerfully addictive drugs.
2. Changes in Mood and Behavior
When your body becomes dependent on a substance, changes to your mood or behavior can occur. You can become irritable or major feelings of apathy because your body becomes accustomed to only feeling good while on the drugs. This is an initial but major sign of prescription drug addiction.
3. Loss in Interests or Isolating Yourself from Friends and Family
If you notice that you are beginning to distance yourself from friends and family, you may be developing an unhealthy habit with prescription medications because many people will feel guilt and shame when around others and it is easier to isolate so that you do not have to deal with those emotions. Many times, family members or close friends will start to question because they will notice a change in appearance or behaviors so you may become avoidant to prevent having to answer tough questions about your problem.
4. Weight Loss or Change in Appearance
Numerous medications have a numbing effect on the body and they can suppress things like appetite which can in turn cause weight loss. If you notice yourself dropping your weight or significant changes in your appearance, it may be time to look at your prescription drug use and how it is affecting your body.
5. You Begin Experiencing Side Effects
Certain side effects can be normal but experiencing nausea, vomiting, changes in sleep, constant flu-like symptoms, lowered blood pressure, anxiety, restlessness or problems thinking clearly can indicate there is a problem.
6. Financial Problems or Buying Prescriptions on The Street
Another prime indication is financial troubles because you can no longer wait until your next script to be filled so you begin buying drugs off of people you know or from the street. If you notice you are spending more money than you can afford on these drugs, you most likely have an issue or addiction and should definitely reach out to get help.
7. Poor Decision Making
You may notice yourself doing things that you normally would not do or things that are out of character for you. Stealing, lying, or hiding secrets from others is a tell-tale sign that your use has become something bigger than you can handle. This can also build on the guilt and shame you could be feeling because you are doing things that you know you otherwise would not do. It may even feel like you are not in control of your own actions because you cannot control the behaviors that are happening.
If you notice yourself having one or more of the things on this list, it may be time to get help before your problem is out of control and beyond repair. Seek help from a therapist, drug counselor, doctor or trusted friend.